Curious things that Argentinians say II
A year ago, I wrote about my experience with curious things that Argentinians say. Over the last year, I have been collecting more of these special things, that are unique to Argentina.
‘Hoy‘ means today. Very basic Spanish! However, recently I have realised that Argentinians sometimes use hoy to mean something like ‘recently’ or ‘earlier today’. In fact, it refers to a time that is so obviously today, that something like ‘5 minutes ago‘ would be used in English.
- ¿Esta es la misma calle en la que estuvimos hoy?”
- Is this the same road that we were just on?
Here’s another basic Spanish word that Argentinians give their own context! It is common in Argentina to hear people say ‘complicado‘ when in reality they mean ‘bad‘ or simply ‘no‘!
- La situacion económica en el mundo se está poniendo más complicada.
- Recently, the world’s economic situation has deteriorated.
- ¿Puedes venir a las dos? “Hmmm…. complicado.”
- Can you come at two? “Hmmm…. no.”
Me chupa un huevo
This strange Argentinian phrase that literally means ‘I suck an egg‘, is usually translated as a (vulgar) way of saying “I don’t care“. However, I feel that this translation hides the true identity of the term – which is almost ironic – as the phrase is only used when a person is annoyed, which would indicate that in fact, they do care in some way!
- ¡Me chupa un huevo lo que hace con su vida!
- I don’t give a f#ck what she does with her life!
Pedo means fart. However, as with some English 4-letter words, pedo can be used in different places to mean different things with different prefixes! The most common are ‘en pedo‘, which means ‘drunk‘, and ‘al pedo‘ which can either mean ‘bored‘ or ‘without any real purpose’. There is also ‘ni en pedo‘, which means ‘never‘.
- Llevamos toda esta comida a su casa al pedo.
- We took all that food to her house for nothing.
- Ni en pedo vuelvo a comer ahi.
- No way will I ever eat there again.
Che, boludo – Re boludo.
Within a couple of days in Argentina, any Spanish speaker will notice that Argentinians use ‘Re’ as ‘very‘ more often than the traditional Spanish ‘muy‘.
They will also notice that many Argentinians use ‘Che‘ to mean ‘guy‘, most often when referring to the person they are talking to.
As well, they will hear the term ‘Boludo‘, which, although originating from ‘big balls’, is used as either an offensive term, like ‘stupid‘, or as a term of endearment, like ‘friend’.
- Este tipo es re boludo.
- That guy is such a jerk.
- Che, boluda, que hacemos hoy?
- Hey, dude, what are we doing today?
Argentinian Spanish has so many peculiarities that I could continue to write about them indefinitely. In fact, even within Argentina, there are many variations, such as popcorn that can be either, pochoclo, pororo, pururu or ancua, depending on which part of the country you are in.
What’s important to highlight is that when speaking a different language we should learn how not to translate word by word but using context. As we mentioned in a previous article, context gives meaning and translating in your head can lead to misusing grammar rules, and losing the context, which can make you sound unnatural.
Have you noticed these peculiarities? Are there any other interesting things Argentinians do or say that you have noticed? Let us know, che!